Pilgrimage Resources

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Pilgrimage Resources

Postby Indrajala » Thu Jun 21, 2012 3:36 pm

As I'm sure many know pilgrimage has historically been a popular aspect of Buddhism. Last year I took a two month trip around India, Nepal, China and then back to Japan doing my own pilgrimage. You can see some of the photos here:

https://sites.google.com/site/dharmadep ... rim-s-tale

I would like to provide a few resources and hopefully others can provide their own.

Firstly, Ven. Dhammika's site about Bodhgaya is worth reading if you are interested in the Indian circuit:

http://www.buddhanet.net/bodh_gaya/menu.htm

The four most holy sites in Buddhism as convention goes are...

Lumbini, the site of the Buddha's birth (in Nepal).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lumbini

Bodhgaya, the site of the Buddha's enlightenment.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bodhgaya

Sarnath, where the Buddha started teaching the Dharma in Deer Park.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarnath

Kushinagar, where the Buddha passed away.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kushinagar

Another site worth of note is Sravasti where he spent much of his teaching career.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sravasti

There are of course many other sites one could visit based on personal inclinations. For example there are Padmasambhava sites around the Kathmandu Valley. Or, perhaps, Mount Wutai in China which is associated with Manjusri.

Personally, I think taking a long trip to visit sites like these is quite worth it. I found it both spiritually and intellectually rewarding, especially because I met so many interesting people along the way. The preparation, the trip itself and the later reflection all proved quite satisfying.

Does anyone else have resources to share or their personal experience?
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Re: Pilgrimage Resources

Postby Sherlock » Fri Jun 22, 2012 5:59 am

Very interesting, thanks for posting this!

I would like to do something similar at some point in my life. Do you know of any resources for traveling to more politically unstable areas (Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tibet)?
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Re: Pilgrimage Resources

Postby Indrajala » Fri Jun 22, 2012 7:48 am

Sherlock wrote:Very interesting, thanks for posting this!

I would like to do something similar at some point in my life. Do you know of any resources for traveling to more politically unstable areas (Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tibet)?


My Pakistani friends assure me traveling there is fine. I imagine the chances of something happening are less likely than getting hit by an auto-rickshaw. More people die everyday from auto accidents than bombings I imagine.

Tibet is off limits for the time being by decree of Beijing. However, Ladakh in northern India is culturally Tibetan in a lot of ways, and it is easy to get there. One hour flight from Delhi and a lot of facilities for tourists. Ladakhis also like foreigners in general (foreign tourists have made Ladakh by Indian standards quite well-off).

Afghanistan is a warzone. I imagine seeing some of the archaeological sites with a proper tour, in and out quickly, wouldn't be problematic, though visas and so on might be.
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Re: Pilgrimage Resources

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Jun 26, 2012 12:05 am

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The "holiest" place in Buddhism, the spot marking the enlightenment of the Buddha, Bodh Gaya, India.
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Re: Pilgrimage Resources

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Jun 26, 2012 12:05 am

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Re: Pilgrimage Resources

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Jun 26, 2012 12:06 am

I have a date and time clock for Bodh Gaya, which can be seen here:

http://www.dhammawiki.com/index.php?tit ... dhi_Temple

If you click on the clock you can even get the weather forecast for Bodh Gaya.
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Re: Pilgrimage Resources

Postby zangskar » Fri Jul 13, 2012 1:56 pm

Keith Dowman's guide to Buddhist power places of the Kathmandu valley
http://www.keithdowman.net/essays/guide.htm

And to buy:
http://www.amazon.com/Power-Places-Kath ... 089281540X or
http://www.amazon.com/Buddhist-Guide-Pl ... 98&sr=1-11

In India I think also Pema/Rewalsar lake deserves mention, for those who appreciate the history and lengends of Padmasambhava and Princess Mandarava.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rewalsar_Lake
http://www.rigpawiki.org/index.php?title=Tso_Pema
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Re: Pilgrimage Resources

Postby waimengwan » Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:57 pm

In Nepal we went to places like Guru Rinpoche's cave. The places where Naropa and Tilopa were hanging out, self arising Tara and Ganesha. Certain Vajrayogini Temples, Temple of the Doors where arhats were supposed to be waiting to be roused by Maitreya, Kathmandu valley, Boudanath.

Nepal has such strong spiritual energy, I felt alert despite sleeping less than I normally did. I went there in 2005 just after the tsunami with Rinpoche.
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Re: Pilgrimage Resources

Postby Punya » Wed Dec 26, 2012 11:26 am

A good resource for Bodghaya is the events calendar for the Mahabodhi temple at http://www.mahabodhi.com

If you’re in Kathmandu you can visit Namo Buddha, the place where the Buddha, in a previous life as a prince, gave his body to a starving tigress and her cubs.

I took a day trip there, hiring a guide and a driver. It involved a 3 hour walk via Thrangu monastery. The gompa had the most amazing interior! The bonus is a walk through beautiful farming villages which seemed a long way from the pollution of the Kathmandu Valley.

I haven’t figured out how to upload photos to this site yet but you can view a photo I took at Namo Buddha at http://www.flickr.com/photos/keziah_w/8 ... hotostream

Oh, and if you're thinking making a round trip by flying from Delhi to Patna and then to Bodghaya via Nalanda - forget it! Internal planes in India are not known for keeping to their scheduled departure times and when I eventually got to Patna we encountered the most incredible traffic jam, which we were told went for 20 kilometres! Better to head straight for Bodghaya and do a day trip to Nalanda.
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Re: Pilgrimage Resources

Postby evgn12 » Sun Mar 10, 2013 7:57 pm

I came to this forum to start a new thread on pilgrimage but saw this one and thought I'd post here instead.

I'm planning to travel to Nepal and India late 2013 and early 2014 and would love to do the Buddhist Circuit. As a solo female traveler, I am thinking of joining tours for the pilgrimage as it may be a safer option. Does anyone have any tours they can recommend? Ideally, I'm looking for something that is led by a practicing Buddhist (not just a tour guide), who can provide Buddhist teachings or even meditation lessons in between.

Thanks!
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Re: Pilgrimage Resources

Postby kirtu » Sun Mar 10, 2013 8:44 pm

KTD is sponsoring a stupa pilgrimage in the Southwest this summer:

Scheduled from June 3-6, 2013, the pilgrimage will include visits to the three stupas in Colorado’s Crestone Valley, as well as visits to the Kagyu Shenpen Kunchab Bodhi Stupa in Santa Fe, the Kagyu Deki Stupa in Tres Orejas, NM, the Kagyu Mila Guru Stupa in El Rito, NM, and the Khang Tsag Choten in Santa Fe – reputed to be the first Tibetan stupa built in North America.


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Re: Pilgrimage Resources

Postby kirtu » Sun Mar 10, 2013 8:46 pm

Isn't there a Therevadin temple in the US South that has set up replicas of the four main pilgrimage places of Shakyamuni Buddha?

Turns out there is: Wat Florida Dhammaram in Kissimmee, Forida.

There is also a replica of the Mahabodhi Temple in Las Vegas, NV built by own own Dr. Snyder. I'm not sure if this is open for pilgrimage.

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Re: Pilgrimage Resources

Postby David N. Snyder » Sun Mar 10, 2013 10:43 pm

kirtu wrote:Isn't there a Therevadin temple in the US South that has set up replicas of the four main pilgrimage places of Shakyamuni Buddha?
Turns out there is: Wat Florida Dhammaram in Kissimmee, Forida.


That place looks great. I have to visit that some time when I am in that area.

kirtu wrote:There is also a replica of the Mahabodhi Temple in Las Vegas, NV built by own own Dr. Snyder. I'm not sure if this is open for pilgrimage.


Thanks. Sure, that is open for "pilgrimage" by any DW member.

Just tell your friends and family that you are off to Las Vegas for "religious pilgrimage". I am sure they will all say, "yeah, right". :tongue:
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Re: Pilgrimage Resources

Postby buddhafame » Thu Apr 18, 2013 8:39 am

Namaste,

It is really nice to see everybody visiting Nepal believing it as a historical place of Buddhism. I am from Nepal and I feel so proud to have Buddha as a great person who has helped us to recognize its name around the globe with his teachings.

By the way, I am in need of help from you all. I am creating a website on Buddha, Buddhism and related topics about it. I will have articles posted here in near future, places and pilgrimages, universities and monasteries listings in my website. please take a look at my website www(.)buddhafame(.)com. Also I would be very pleased if you all can help me with contents about it. Take a look at the website and let me know if you have any ideas to make my website more attractive and informational about Buddhism. Help me with pictures, texts and other pieces of information. I hope you will help me to build a website which not only belongs to me but can a creation of we all - just like wikipedia (not exactly wikipedia type though)

Let me know your thoughts about it at gaurav@access-keys.com

Thanks and Regards,

Gaurav Manandhar
Buddha Fame - An online magazine about Buddha and Buddhism.
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Re: Pilgrimage Resources

Postby mandala » Sun Apr 21, 2013 3:47 pm

evgn12 wrote:I came to this forum to start a new thread on pilgrimage but saw this one and thought I'd post here instead.

I'm planning to travel to Nepal and India late 2013 and early 2014 and would love to do the Buddhist Circuit. As a solo female traveler, I am thinking of joining tours for the pilgrimage as it may be a safer option. Does anyone have any tours they can recommend? Ideally, I'm looking for something that is led by a practicing Buddhist (not just a tour guide), who can provide Buddhist teachings or even meditation lessons in between.

Thanks!


This may be of interest to you.. I know Venerable Robina Courtin and other sangha members have been leading these Buddhist pilgrimages for a number of years, including dharma teachings and daily meditations. I haven't been on one personally, but i would love to!

Looks like there is one to Burma the end of 2013 and also one in early 2014 to Nepal & India.

Dharma Journeys Pilgrimages: http://dharma-journeys.org/programs.htm

:namaste:
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Re: Pilgrimage Resources

Postby Arjan Dirkse » Sun Jun 23, 2013 10:54 pm

I'd love to visit India but getting the visa is quite a pain, especially since I'm unemployed I need to prove with extra documents I will be able to "sustain myself" during the time I'm there. Visa isn't cheap either for India. Nepal is visa on arrival I think so that would be fine.
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